Adventurer Nick Hancock set two new endurance records by living solo for 45 days on the isolated granite islet of Rockall, which is literally in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. He landed on the remote and uninhabited islet on 5 June to begin the Rockall Solo challenge.
Nick’s main reason for being on Rockall was to raise funds for the injured ex-servicemen’s charity Help for Heroes. Inmarsat’s satellite communications enabled him to spread the word, share his experience and keep isolation at bay.
Inmarsat provided Nick with airtime and a Cobham SATCOM Explorer 710 terminal, to allow him to stream live video off the rock via our BGAN HDR service, and our satphone, IsatPhone 2, donated by Wireless Innovation, Inmarsat’s service provider.
Nick’s record bid attracted the interest of the BBC and he used BGAN HDR to broadcast live to various programmes.
Our BGAN service also gave Nick online connectivity to enable him to share his experience with the world… and all this from the middle of the ocean!
From Rockall, he transmitted blogs, updated his Facebook page and tweeted about his experiences. He also sent film footage for a documentary about his record attempt, which will be screened by US TV network NBC.
The north Atlantic islet of Rockall is located 230 miles (370 km) west of the Outer Hebrides and has been described as the most isolated oceanic rock in the world. It often gets lashed by Atlantic storms with swells as high as 25 feet (7.6 metres).
During his bid to beat the 40-day solo record set by SAS veteran Tom McClean nearly 20 years ago, and the 42-day record set by three Greenpeace campaigners in 1997, Nick experienced a terrifying gale force storm which dislodged his converted water tank living quarters and lost him precious supplies – meaning he had to cut short his plan to spend 60 days on the rock.
Nick set up camp on Hall’s Ledge, the only flat part of Rockall, measuring just 11 by 4 feet (3.3 x 1.2 metres).
Occasionally, he scrambled up to the summit for exercise. He also carried out geographical, ornithological, entomological and botanical work and took rock samples and magnetic readings to help academics at St Andrew’s University in Scotland prove their theory that the origin of life started on an isolated island like Rockall.
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